Riders in Singapore are allowed to bring their folding bikes onto the train at any time of the day. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is common. What’s common are the strange looks you get as you shuffle to the corner of the MRT carriage with the elephant in the room: your CarryMe folding bike.
In times like these, represent! Don’t give your fellow commuters any reason to hate you and other riders who bring foldable bicycles onto the train.
Here are some ways you can be an exemplary citizen when taking the train with your folding bike:
1) Board at the ends of the train
The ends of the train are naturally less crowded as it is the farthest from the escalators, which are typically nearest to the centre of the platform. Avoid the congestion in the middle and board either at the front or back end, giving yourself more space for you and your folding bike.
Furthermore, the type of passengers in the middle of the train are usually the ones who are in a rush and likely to not be in the best of moods: office workers and begrudging students trying not be late.
Meanwhile, passengers located at the ends of the trains are relaxed and more likely to be forgiving towards what many may consider a nuisance—commuters who bring their folding bikes onto the train.
2) Give way to other passengers
To avoid colliding into other commuters when you’re pushing your CarryMe compact folding bike, make more space around you by letting other passengers go first when boarding or alighting.
This also applies to lifts and escalators. After alighting the train, wait for the crowd to clear before using the lift or escalator. When taking the lift, let the elderly and wheelchair users go into the lift first; not only is this courteous, considering the lift is mainly for them, but you also get to leave first since you’ll be nearest the door. Win-win!
As a result, you won’t be an obstruction and slow anyone down. Furthermore, other commuters will remember this considerate behaviour and will even come to embrace passengers with folding bikes.
3) Plan your time well
With the waiting around, walking to the ends of trains and giving way to passengers, the duration of your commute is bound to be longer.
It is practically impossible to participate in the peak hour congestion while lugging around a folding bike. Instead, make sure to leave your house earlier so you can have a more relaxed commute and not have to rush for anything.
4) Get a backpack or a messenger bag
Both of your hands will be used to push or handle the CarryMe micro folding bike, so it’s important you keep them free.
Rather than using hand bags or briefcases, opt for a bag you can wear on your body to store your items. Backpacks or messenger bags are great options.
Backpacks provide a lot of space, perfect for storing an extra set of clothes you can change into after your commute; documents, files, a laptop and any other items you may need in the office.
If you don’t need to carry as many items, you can get a messenger bag instead. The messenger bag was designed specifically for couriers and messengers who delivered packages on their bikes and provides easy access to your items during transit. Simply swing the bag from your back to your chest swiftly.
With these bags, you’re bound to be less frazzled during your bus or MRT journey and have a smoother commute.
5) Make “sorry” and “excuse me” part of your vocabulary
Even if you’re used to commuting with a CarryMe micro folding bike, your fellow commuters may still not be used to accommodating passengers with bikes like yourself.
If that’s the case, be patient. Say “excuse me” politely when navigating the train or train station in a crowded area. If other passengers are wearing headphones, tap them on the shoulder to let them know that they should make way. If you accidentally nudge someone as you’re moving, apologise.
Always be polite and gracious, so everyone can become more accepting towards the cycling community.